Loko (25 March, 2012)
You should try selling the site to a smaller firm that doesn't have much of a wen presense. The site is more valuable to them than to you.
Google Venice Update. Here's a quote form the Offical Google Blog:
Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.
Loko (25 March, 2012)
The site received another lead today:
A company is going to build a large beachhouse in a popular place and needs 70 piles.
I sent an email to 25 companies asking for a quote.
One company replied by phone within 5 minutes after sending the mail. They have good experience with projects like this.
Also received a mail with a note saying they will send me a quote the next working day.
I will post someting when there's anoter update about this.
On another note; earlier this week I received two different leads within 24hrs for my local accountant/bookkeeper site, it took some time before my own bookkeeper replied but he said he had some bad experience with such leads. Now it's too late to contact others.
Lesson learned: collect contacts of as many companies as possible and ask them for a quote. Don't rely on one company unless you have some kind of deal with them.
I will let another site case study run parallel with this one:
My other leadgen site, a local bookkeeper/accountant landing page (it's not much more than that..) despite or perhaps thanks to the latest Google update, ranks #2 for the query [accountant (cityname)] and #4 [bookkeeper (cityname)] .
Contrary to most search queries in the US keywords come first, then the cityname, it's just how people search here. I really have to put some work in this particular project in order to increase conversion rates. Every now and then, the project is receiving a phonecall or email but hasn't produced any results yet.
The 'piles' project received more emails from building firms today, requesting more information as to what type of piles are needed.
During the past couple weeks, i received quotes from several companies ranging from €5k to €20k. I forwarded two quotes to my client adding 2,5% on top but I didn't forward the 20k quote because i don't consider it competitive. Next time however, I will ask the companies to calculate my cut in the quote so that I can offer it as a whole to my client. I admit this project is a slow boat because i'm busy with others but I do think it has more potential.
Last week, I acquired an exact match local massage domain with over 6k of searches for one of Europe's capital cities. During the next weeks, I will investigate whether it would be viable to create a lead-gen site or perhaps try to sell the domain. With the latest Google local update it may lead to interesting possibilities.
I'm sorry for not having posted any updates lately. After examining landing page examples i've been working on redesigning the site during the past couple weeks. The site has a new theme and an entirely new front page as well. Hopefully, it will lead to more conversions.
The major difference between the old en new site is that the new site has a better 'call to action'. As can be seen in the screenshot of the old site, there's just a contact form on the front page and two pages of content via the main menu. The new page offers more information that hopefully increases trust and visitor duration.
The new theme is designed with the help of Artisteer. The main advantage is that it allows to make changes easily without requiring any coding knowledge (although coding can be very helpful at times).Now there's a welcoming message (below the large image), a 'why choose for us' bulleted list and most importantly, a site wide contact form on the right side widget. I also had to add a 'cookie consent' plugin in order to comply with EU regulations regarding cookie placement ( Europe Goes After the Cookie )
The contact form asks for a minimum of details: email address, message and optional document upload. I've been told that a colored 'submit button' may be helpful too. I've also added another page of content and the Autoblogged plugin is still doing it's job on a daily updated 'news' page. Last time I checked just when it left 'under construction', the site was ranking #12 at google.nl (were the project is targeted).
On another note, I haven't heard anything lately from the last 'client'. For now this will be my only project and I will continue working on several seo factors. If it proves to be successful, i may use this project template for other domainnames too.
Ha ha, I've read that the most boring "standard-looking" grey button works best (source:Yanik Silver I think), or a blue link. Just need to test. Then we see a lot of wild arrows pushing you to click the button, "click here now" text etc.I've been told that a colored 'submit button' may be helpful too.
Currently I have a low-converting poster in supermarkets, and a customer said I need my mug shot on it: very slow feedback to optimize this one.
Loko (6 July, 2012)
Just received the first lead after the update. The site is also ranking #9 for it's major keyword, this has been a while since just before the update it was somewhere on the second and third page.
It can be fun to optimize marketing materials.
For my poster, I plan to add my picture, but it will also suggest some other things such as I like hanging out with my clients in social situations. So I cropped a photo where I am in a restaurant with friends and clipped it so that it only shows my face, but there is the edge of a woman and a man in the photo at the sides.
On Monday I will re-work the offer to attract women who want to chat to maintain their English-speaking skills. So, if they see me and like my looks, plus they can imagine that they are the woman in the picture, it could be a great converting Ad.
Loko: for your Ads, you could maybe put together a photo of you on a building site where they are doing the pile-driving in the background, maybe? Of course, you need to wear boots and a hard-hat, holding a clip-board etc.